This article tells the story of the sociology of sport over the last 4 decades. In the process, it identifies key developments and trends in the field, the questions and topics that have shaped research and the production of knowledge about sports as social phenomena, the challenges currently facing the sociology of sport, and what may happen to the field over the next 40 years.
Timothy D. Lee and Heather Carnahan
The authors reflect on the dire state of motor learning at the time of Brooks’s book and consider reasons why research was resurrected in the 1980s and flourished in the ensuing years. In so doing, they provide an overview of the various research topics that have been studied, discuss the influence of motor learning on other fields of study, and consider the future of motor learning research both within and outside the academic study of kinesiology.
David H. Perrin
In this essay, I reflect on my life and academic career, detailing my childhood, family background, education, and those who influenced me to study physical education and athletic training. My higher education started with a small college experience that had a transformative impact on my intellectual curiosity, leading to graduate degrees and, ultimately, a career in higher education. I chronicle my academic career trajectory as a non-tenure-track faculty member and clinician, tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, and provost. My personal and professional lives have been undergirded by a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, with examples provided in this essay.
Thomas L. McKenzie
This essay describes how environmental conditions affected my unexpected evolution from farm life in a rural Canadian community to becoming a physical education specialist and multisport coach and eventually a U.S. kinesiology scholar with a public health focus. I first recount my life on the farm and initial education and then identify the importance of full- and part-time jobs relative to how they helped prepare me for a life in academia. Later, I summarize two main areas of academic work that extended beyond university campuses—the design and implementation of evidence-based physical activity programs and the development of systematic observation tools to assess physical activity and its associated contexts in diverse settings, including schools, parks, and playgrounds. I conclude with a section on people and locations to illustrate the importance of collaborations—essential components for doing field-based work. Without those connections, I would not have had such an extensive and diverse career.
Maureen R. Weiss
I adopt an autobiographical approach to chronicle the contexts, experiences, and individuals that shaped my academic and career choices, which resulted in finding kinesiology and, specifically, sport and exercise psychology. Consistent with the developmental perspective I employ in my research and practical applications, I trace my life’s work in youth development through sport using transitional career stages. My academic path has been strongly influenced by hardworking and caring mentors and a commitment to balancing theoretical knowledge, applied research, and professional practice. Based on my many years in higher education, I conclude with some reflections on the future of kinesiology given past and present trends in the field.
This article is organized around the idea that a person can be a part of kinesiology without being in kinesiology. Trained as a sociologist and never having a faculty appointment outside of a sociology department, I am an outsider in kinesiology. However, my participation in kinesiology and relationships with scholars in kinesiology departments have fostered my professional growth and my appreciation of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sports, physical activities, and the moving human body. The knowledge produced by scholars in kinesiology subdisciplines has provided a framework for situating and assessing my research, teaching, and professional service as a sociologist. The latter half of this article focuses on changes in higher education and how they are likely to negatively impact the social sciences and humanities subdisciplines in kinesiology. The survival of these subdisciplines will depend, in part, on how leaders in the field respond to the question, Kinesiology for whom?
Learn how sport influenced Rainer Martens’s life and his epiphany to become a physical educator and coach, which led him to study sport psychology. The author briefly recounts his work in sport psychology and coaching education. Next, the author describes how he stumbled into publishing, founding Human Kinetics, and describes how this company helped define kinesiology and influence the broad field of physical activity. The author concludes by reporting on his continued involvement in sport and the development of two community centers that focus on sport and physical activity.
As the title of this article suggests, I describe in this essay how my career has been shaped by specific events, such as not knowing the rules of the game I loved and played extensively, and significant mentors, such as the venerable Dr. Earl Zeigler and Dr. Garth Paton. I also explain how I been involved in the birth and growth of the field of sport management. More importantly, I show how the field has shaped my career and has opened up opportunities for me to travel the world in propagating the field around the globe.